On Friday as I was teaching my sixth graders, one of them duly noted that there was another class outside playing in the field across the street from the school. They quickly declared that they wanted to go out there and play with them. I told them that we had work to do and we were not going to join the other class outside.
If you have spent five minutes with any child at all in you life, you know their next statement: “That’s not fair!”
My quick response was: “There are three truths you need to know for today. The first is that life is not fair. The second is that nothing is “free.” The third is that Santa Claus comes from the land of make believe!”
My students howled in protest. Some howled that I was declaring to them what they believe is a fundamental right: fairness in everything, free everything and more importantly, Santa Claus.
I would say that it is this last declaration that causes the most problems and it is what drives the other two. The idea of Santa Claus, one who comes around once a year to give “free” gifts, is quite pervasive among our youth. The idea that he deals equitably with children is equally pervasive. Even when the child deserves coal, which all children deserve, his kindness overcomes their iniquity and they get the Red Rider BB Gun.
This feeling is carried from their youth, into adolescence, and eventually into adulthood. It is this feeling that all things should be free, all things are to be equal, and all things are to be fair, that is driving the utter foolishness on campuses across the country, like the debacle at the University of Missouri. All these children (since they are not acting like adults) think that they can all sit around demanding equality, fairness, fat paychecks, and the right not to be offended, because they have bought into the three lies of the left: fairness, free everything, and Santa Claus.
Let us look at the validity of these claims one at a time. First, the idea that life is to be fair is patently false. No one, no Deity, no founding father, no one has ever declared to us that life is to be fair. There is no way that life can ever be fair. Life isn’t set up that way.
When we understand the world with a biblical worldview, we can see that not even among Christians is life fair. Remember that Peter, talking to Jesus after the resurrection, wondered what was going to happen to John. Jesus told Peter that it was none of his business what happened to John. John went on to be the only disciple to die of natural causes in his old age. Peter, along with the rest of the disciples, died a martyr’s death.
This was a perfect time for Peter to declare that life was not fair. Why did John get to die in his old age and Peter did not? Listen to Christ’s words: “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
This is the hardest lesson for us to learn, especially given that we are so captivated by being the captain of our soul and masters of our fate. But the truth remains, it is God who raises up and brings down low. We think we have the power to raise ourselves up, but if we do raise ourselves beyond mediocrity, it is because of God’s blessings toward us. Even then, our accomplishments may not be the best thing for us because we so easily fall into the lie that we are truly captain of our soul, that we alone are responsible for our successes in life. This snare has destroyed more souls than one can imagine.
My point here is that no matter if we are rich or poor, blessed spiritually or not, all that we have is from our Father in heaven. So for us to declare that our neighbors are more blessed than we are is to question His wisdom. It is to cry out to God that we are being treated unfairly by God Himself. This is why coveting is a sin against God. It’s a declaration that what God has given to us is not enough.
Life will never be fair. When we fall into the belief that it should be, we fall into the deception that by crying out against the unfairness we can somehow equalize the setting in which we find ourselves. We need to know that the enemies of God know this reality. This is why leftist and those in advertising are so successful in showing us what we don’t have and what we should have. Leftists in government use this inequality to advance their power. They never will succeed in bringing equality and fairness as they define it. They are not trying to do so. They merely use the perceived unfairness to gain more control in government and bring more division among the people. They love to say that they are trying to bring hope to the poor, downcast, etc. But what they promise actually goes against our Lord’s words, in that we will always have the poor among us. This does not remove our responsibility to help the poor, but leftists are lying when they say they are going to bring equality to the people. All they really do is exalt one group over and against another and bring more division.
Life is not fair. It was never intended to be and if it is not fair from our perspective, then we need to take it up with our Creator. Realize that this is true in the church as well as in the world: He did not call all to be apostles, prophets, pastors/teacher and evangelist…just some for the edification of the body (Ephesians 4:11ff). If He allowed for some, but not all, to be in positions of responsibility in His church (whom He has redeemed with the blood of His Son), then why would we expect anything different in the world?
The second lie that my sixth graders have bought into is the idea that things are free. They think because they don’t have to shell out cash for their breakfast, lunch or dinner, that it’s all free. They think that because they don’t pay for school, that it’s free. They think because they get gifts at Christmas time, they are free. But nothing is free. They are in school because they ride the backs of the homeowners of the state. They eat their lunches because of the taxpayer in the community.
It’s is a lie for us to tell them that anything is free and I think we should probably have a “Homeowner’s Appreciation Day” every year, so that they understand that our schools are funded by property taxes.
We should also challenge people every time they speak of “free” anything, like the economically vapid college students are doing across our country, to challenge them how the “free” tuition is going to come about and then ask them, “if the rich pay for it, how is it free?” And another follow up question: “What gives you the right to demand the rich pay for your school? Are you not making the rich man your slave?“
Please note, I am not rich. So please don’t think I’m writing from the standpoint of being one to lose out on a lot if these empty-headed college students have their way. But I know enough about the economy to know that if they do have their way, there will be no jobs for them once they graduate from their free colleges. Even if there are jobs, no employer would want to hire them given that their education is so lacking in substance other than the mantra “it’s all about me.”
Third, concerning Santa Claus. At first I just threw that in there for shock value, but it does have a correlation to the other two. I don’t really believe these children believe in Santa Claus, however, I do fear that they attach the attributes of Santa Claus to the living and true God. This is why so many fall into believing the lie that God is their personal sugar daddy. It is why so many have a hard time understanding the true God who is.
God hates sin, and is holy. He is not some love-muffin in the sky, just telling us to love everything and anything and all will be well. Much of what the church and world puts forth as “love” is actually sin. What much of the world looks to for comfort is actually damning to our souls. And the myths like Santa Claus play into these falsehoods.